The city of Cahokia, located in present-day Illinois, USA, represents one of the most mysterious archaeological finds in North America. This ancient city, built centuries ago by Native Americans of the Mississippian culture, was abandoned for no apparent reason. Why did the people of Cahokia abandon their thriving city and where did they disappear to?
History of Cahokia
Cahokia was one of the largest cities in ancient America. It was founded around 1050 AD and existed for about 600 years before its disappearance in 1400 AD. The city was a center of religious and political activity, as well as a trading center that attracted people from all over the region.
Cahokia was located on the banks of the Mississippi River and covered an area of about 15 square kilometers. There were more than 120 burial grounds in the city, testifying to its importance and long existence. Archaeological excavations have shown that Cahokia was a well-organized city with streets, houses, ceremonial buildings and agricultural fields.
The mystery of the disappearance
Why did the people of Cahokia decide to abandon their thriving city? Scholars still cannot give a definite answer to this question. There are several theories that attempt to explain the disappearance of Cahokia:
1. Environmental crisis: One theory suggests that Cahokia faced environmental problems such as droughts or soil depletion. Some studies suggest that the farming methods used by the people of Cahokia may have led to soil degradation and deteriorating conditions for agriculture.
2. Conflicts and wars: Another theory links the disappearance of Cahokia to conflicts with other tribes or peoples. Some archaeological finds indicate the presence of defensive structures, which may indicate possible military confrontations.
3. Epidemics and Diseases: The people of Cahokia may have been struck by an epidemic or disease that caused mass deaths. This would explain the rapid disappearance of the city without leaving any trace.
4. Social Change: Some scholars believe that Cahokia faced internal social changes that led to its destruction. This could have been due to political conflicts, changing religious beliefs, or economic problems.
Despite all these theories, the exact cause of Cahokia’s disappearance remains a mystery. Archaeologists continue to research and excavate in search of new evidence and confirmation.
The city of Cahokia remains an enigma of ancient American history. Its disappearance raises many questions to which scientists still cannot give a definite answer. This mystery continues to attract the attention of researchers from around the world who hope to unravel the mystery of the abandoned city of Cahokia.